The Kwara State Government has released N132 million to the state scholarship board for the payment of scholarship and bursary to 60,000 students
The board’s Chairman, Alhaji Isiaku Mogaji, however, said that the amount represented a fraction of the N300 million budgeted for the purpose.
He made the disclosure in Minna on Sunday during the disbursement of the funds for bursary and scholarship awards to 243 students from Kwara, who are studying in various tertiary institutions in Niger.
Mogaji commended the state government for the release of the funds, saying that the release was timely because the beneficiaries were indigent students who needed the money to meet their various needs.
He said that no fewer than 20,000 students had so far benefited from the N132 million so far released, appealing to the state government to release the remaining funds so as to enable all the 60,000 students to collect their entitlements on time.
Mogaji said that the beneficiaries in Niger were studying in institutions such as Federal University of Technology, Minna; Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai; College of Education, Minna; School of Nursing, Bida and School of Health Technology, Minna.
He also said the board had visited the beneficiaries of the awards who were studying at University of Ibadan; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; College of Education, Ilaro; adding that their entitlements had also been paid to them.
He, however, said that the board would soon embark on the verification of the beneficiaries of the scholarship and bursary scheme across the country to ascertain the actual number of those who were eligible to benefit from the awards.
“The list we have is not credible; we have seen instances where the students claimed that they were over 2,000 but by the time we got there, we discovered that they are less than that figure.
“The government has also approved N5.8million for data capturing of all Kwara students studying in various higher institutions across the country so as to correct the perceptible lapses in the system,” he said.
Besides, Mogaji said that in a bid to encourage academic excellence, the state government had introduced a new scholarship scheme which would purely be based on merit.
He added that only students who excelled in their academic studies would henceforth be considered for scholarship or bursary awards.